Fieldbus Modules optimize HART field device potential.

Press Release Summary:

I/A Series Fieldbus Modules enables users to continuously access real-time field device diagnostics and asset management information directly from workstations or PCs. Fieldbus Module channels provide 4-20 mA analog signals and HART digital signals. Modules feature 8 channels, each with its own HART modem; 100 millisecond response times; and up to 4 secondary variables per channel. Modules can be replaced without removing cabling or power components.

Original Press Release:

New I/A Series® Fieldbus Modules help unlock the power of HART field devices

Invensys field integration solution combines Foxboro's exclusive remote I/O capability with the simplicity and low cost of HART field communications

FOXBORO, MASSACHUSSETS, USA - May 21, 2002 - According to a recent study by the ARC Advisory Group, more than 25% of today's worldwide installed base of field devices utilize HART communications. However, according to the HART Communication Foundation's own estimates, only a small percentage of current users actually take advantage of the full range of capabilities available in their HART devices.

New I/A Series Fieldbus Modules from Foxboro optimize the performance of HART, enabling I/A Series system users to utilize HART communications to continuously access a rich array of field device diagnostics and other asset management information right from their I/A Series workstation or a personal computer.

"In the past, HART communication has been used primarily for initial instrument setup and to periodically look into the field instrument for maintenance purposes," said Ron Helson, director of the Austin, Texas-based HART Communication Foundation. "This just scratches the surface of the actual functionality resident in the instruments. Foxboro's well-thought-out implementation approach unlocks the power of HART for users. By fully integrating HART communication with the plant control system, as Foxboro has done, the system communicates with HART devices on a full-time basis to detect and alert users to impending problems before they can negatively impact the process."

"Compared to FOUNDATION fieldbus and other similar approaches, HART field devices are less expensive to purchase and are easy to install and commission," said Jim Gray, director of I/A Series system marketing at Invensys. "While communicating at a slower speed than the digital fieldbusses, HART devices offer many of the same benefits, including remote configuration and real-time asset management capabilities."

Foxboro's rugged I/A Series Fieldbus Modules and exclusive redundant high-speed Ethernet fieldbus network maximize the benefits of HART and other smart field protocols - such as FOUNDATION fieldbus, PROFIBUS-DP, and FoxCom - by providing users with the option of securely distributing the system I/O remotely in the field to dramatically reduce their field wiring costs.

Foxboro's new HART Fieldbus Modules operate in conjunction with the I/A Series Control Processor 60 to provide real-time access to process data and status, plus on-demand access to field device parameters and diagnostics. Each Fieldbus Module channel provides both a 4-20mA analog signal and a HART digital signal, so users have the option of mixing conventional 4-20mA field devices with their HART smart field devices. As part of a long-term field upgrade program, this would allow users to integrate smart transmitters that might already be installed and/or gradually update their conventional field devices to HART using maintenance budgets.

The Foxboro Integrated Field Device Configurator (IFDC) maintenance environment has also been updated to support the HART protocol. This advanced toolset enables authorized I/A Series system users to read real-time information from the field devices, access diagnostics, perform configuration and re-ranging, store configuration files and upload or download information to and from the field device. The Foxboro IFDC provides full support for the entire range of Foxboro HART transmitters and positioners, plus support for the HART Universal and Common Practice commands. This allows third-party HART field devices to be seamlessly integrated into the I/A Series system.

Advanced features of Foxboro's new HART Fieldbus Modules for the I/A Series system include:

- 8 channels per Fieldbus Module, each with its own dedicated HART modem for optimum throughput

- 100 millisecond response for 4-20mA process inputs and outputs

- up to 4 secondary variables per channel can be utilized for monitoring and/or control through HART digital communications

- redundant configurations available for mission-critical applications

- modules can be replaced without removing field device termination cabling, power, or communication cabling

- Power distribution security and support for field device power

For more information on this, or other advanced field integration capabilities, readers can contact their local Invensys/Foxboro representative or the Invensys Customer Satisfaction Center via phone (1-866-746-6477, or 508-549-2424 outside of the US) or email ( The new I/A Series Fieldbus Modules for HART communications can also be purchased on-line at


Invensys plc, the international production technology and energy management group, specializes in helping companies to improve efficiency, performance and profitability. With close to 76,000 employees, Invensys is headquartered in London, England.

Our Production Management businesses work closely with customers in order to drive up performance of their production assets and maximize the return on investments in product technologies. The division includes Foxboro, Wonderware, Triconex, APV, Eurotherm, Simulation Sciences, Esscor, Avantis, and Baan and it addresses the oil, gas, and chemicals; food beverage and personal healthcare; and discrete and hybrid manufacturing sectors.

Our Energy Management businesses actively work with clients involved in both the supply and consumption of energy, developing systems using innovative technologies that improve the reliability and security of power supplies. The division includes Energy Solutions, Metering Systems, Home, Appliance and Climate Controls and Power Systems and focuses on markets connected with power and energy infrastructure and commercial and residential buildings.

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